Just in time with my appointment as a Professor for “Digital Business Engineering and Transformation” at the Institute for Innovation and Technology Management of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences – Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture – I would like to ask you what contribution an Professor and Advisor for business transformation should make to your “Digital Future”.
For me personally “Digital Business Engineering and Transformation”, DBE&T for short, is the innovation boost ever since the 1990s. I still remember exactly how, a few years ago, I reacted to the new buzz word “digitalisation”: “Oh, nonsense … we’ve been doing that since the seventies. This is a pure marketing machinery of the IT industry … do not get confused and just continue as we have done so far.
We all know today: I was quite wrong! It is not the same, because both, the motivation to implement digitalisation measures is different today and the focus of the technical concepts is different compared to that time. It is today’s insights from evaluations of accumulated “data” that allow companies to develop new services or tangible products, increase customer satisfaction, or even penetrate new markets without necessarily playing out the brand’s strength, because for many Start-Ups this strong brand at this time does not exist.
Today, intelligent systems are built to capture and protect data. These data become the property of the company in many new business models, which they store in their databases. The hidden “patterns” are searched in a similar way as gold diggers work gold mines.
New York Times columnist and triple Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedmann recently opened my eyes again during a research. His analyses have shown, for example, that in 2007 a worldwide explosion of innovation took place through the creation of very influential start-ups. Surprisingly, most of the newly launched services and tangible products can be traced back to the existence of the “Moore’s Law”.
I still perceive this development of the last 11 years today as if I have been carried away on a huge wave over these years, and amased at moments of peace and relaxation, the resulting services and tangible products like a newly stranded earthlings. As an electrical engineer trained in the early nineties, I try to imagine how small the transistors of the integrated electronic circuits have become, and how much faster and more intelligent these integrated circuits are today … just tremendous !!!
Of course, even traditional companies are able to exploit the massive strength of their brand. Take, for example, the company “Victorinox” in mind. Even though millions of “pocket knives” are still sold every year – in recent years, the product range has been expanded to include perfumes, luggage, watches and catering knives. Due to the time history of these newly operated strategic business areas, we must assume that it was not primarily the new possibilities of digitalisation that led to these new business areas. Nevertheless, Victorinox marketers are likely to be very interested in optimally linking the data spots of their various business units, so that the interpretation of these data could provide a clear pattern of which fragrance the purchaser of a particular pocket knife model traveled from Texas to central Switzerland It should then be optimally stowed in the appropriate Victorinox suitcase or backpack. Whether his flight will land in time in Zurich, he could of course check on the ideal (for his of her taste) Victorinox watch.